Result: Poynton A-A Rudheath Social (Cheshire League Premier Division)
Venue: Poynton Sports Club (Saturday 21st May 2016, 1pm)
Att: 21 (hc)
Ah yes, an early summer match at the end of the season. A lovely game, in pleasant weather, to round out a footballing season that has featured too much weather issues than I care to remember. Well, we can dream…
A late(ish) night text conversation with Rob saw us decide on a trip over to the small Cheshire town of Poynton, not too far from Stockport, with his preference for a Cheshire League fixture drawing us away from the likes of Southport Hesketh etc. Come Saturday morning, the day was relatively nice, i.e. no different than any other overcast morning and with the rain holding off, all looked set for our final match.
After meeting with Rob at Piccadilly and him purchasing his ticket (remember this minor detail) off the guy on the platform, we were soon on the rattler bound for Stoke via the Cheshire countryside. After heading through the suburbs and the likes of Cheadle Hulme & Hazel Grove, we pulled into Poynton station which looked like it was stuck in a time warp from the 1940’s. Honestly, the benches bore the station name, a guy took your tickets as you left the station and the waiting room was definitely a throwback.
Anyway, our vintage experience over, we took heed of the sign reading “To the village” and headed off down the road and into the “shared space zone” of Poynton town/village Centre. We figured, upon being allowed to cross a road in an unmarked area that “shared space” meant something along the lines of “all traffic must be strangely polite to all others”, as not only was it pedestrians who took advantage of this, but also other vehicles were politely allowed to filter into the flow. Crazy times here!
It was just after 11am and so only one place beckoned: Wetherspoons, of course! The Kingfisher sat in the midst of a shopping precinct housing all sorts of shops and food outlets to serve the fine Poyntonian community. For us, however, sights were set upon the doorway of the Kingfisher and the delights to be found inside. With drinks ordered and purchased we headed over to the “DJ deck” table, as Rob christened it, before his breakfast soon joined us. After talking through a few West Dids-related things (nothing too secretive I assure you), it was off into the high street and the Farmer’s Arms.
The Farmer’s was a nice pub, a mix of traditional pub and restaurant/bar. With Rob not too happy about the fact I’d burdened him with a round of San Miguel’s, we headed outside to make the most of the last of the brightness, before the rain began to arrive. The barman in here was also taken aback by Rob’s revelation of Manchester’s B Lounge Carling prices!
With the rain now falling intermittently and the clock approaching One, we took our leave, with the intention of heading to the game, watching it and heading back to the Cask Lounge before our train home. As you may have figured, these plans came to be scuppered but, blissfully unaware of what was to soon be unleashed upon us, we arrived at the gates of Poynton Sports Club some 5 minutes before the game, to see the pitch still being marked out. There’s not much of the ground to speak of bar the railed off pitch and Clubhouse/social club, and it was the latter where we headed to purchase something to keep us watered.
The bar here is quite smart, serving all the sports in the complex, but mostly the cricket and football sections today. As it was, it was still rather empty and with plastic cups in force, we headed out to the pitch where the game was just getting underway. Not much happened bar the goal, a shot across the ‘keeper for Social to take the lead and a home player gave some comedic relief whilst getting booked with the ref not enamouring himself to neither player nor spectator. I, however, was more lenient, as he was an old schoolmate….
The clouds began to roll in shortly after. Then it began to drizzle. Then it rained. It rained some more. Then it pissed it down. Then it became something Noah would have been accustomed to! The deluge absolutely soaked all of us hardy souls and those on the field, who battled on gamely for the next 20 minutes. With only a tree to shelter us, a few fans, smartly, gave up and headed for the bar while our beers got a top-up and one guy soldiered on with his radio out. As you do.
Then, as Rob observed, after 40 minutes plus of not playing one pass through the middle of the pitch, one player tried it and it looked like the parting of the Red Sea as the water flew up and the ref had next to no option, in hindsight, to call the game to a halt. After a very brief consultation, he confirmed game ABANDONED!!!! For me, the THIRD TIME THIS SEASON!!!! Originally, we thought there could have been a brief stoppage to see how the weather went, but it quickly became apparent it was the correct call.
“They were (bleep)-ing hungover too!” observed one Rudheath player, a view that was confirmed by the couple of Poynton players we joined when walking back to cover and warmth away from hypothermia. With the rain still teeming down SIDEWAYS (last word in Family Guy’s Ollie Williams’ voice), we took cover until the rain passed, just in time for us to head over to the station for an earlier train than we expected to get back. On arrival back in the last century, we were puzzled on just how to find access to the footbridge to the other side as was another woman who was just as confused. The brains trust (mine not included) soon found it and we were safely over in time for our service back to Manchester and the FA Cup Final.
Now, remember the ticket from earlier? Well, as we pulled back into Piccadilly and disembarked, I passed through no issues until Rob shouted me to stop for a minute. It turned out his ticket had gone walkabout and he was having some trouble finding it. After a quick peruse through the windows confirmed no ticket, he was soon confronted by a man in civilian clothes who was half-introduced by the Northern ticket officer. In true, terrible ’80’s porn flick tone, he declared “I’M A REVENUE INSPECTOR” and unleashed his weapon. Well, his badge. Even when I spotted we were stood right next to the ticket guy who sold it on the way, this prick was having none of it.
After being informed he’d need to buy another ticket and handing over a Morrisons receipt, the right one was finally discovered in a sodden state and Rob was released from his prison-like situation and free to roam the streets once again like the terrible danger he is. It was decided we’d head to the Paramount, the ‘Spoons on the corner of Oxford Road to watch the final there which ended up in a few more drinks, though my session ended earlier than expected and I was forced onto Cokes.
After watching United take the cup from under the nose of the dancing Alan Pardew, it was time for me to head off home, but not before I’d reluctantly (not reluctantly at all) agreed to take a free ticket off Rob via West assistant-boss Steve for the England-Turkey friendly the next day. I guess Rob will think twice about joining me again!
So, within the walls of a building that used to be a picture house/theatre, it seemed rather fitting that I could end the day saying: “All’s well that ends well”…..
Game: 6- Ok, until the abandonment.
Ground: 4- Nice bar, nothing else to it. Pitch looked good though.
Fans: 3- A few.
Value For Money: 6- It started good and ended up a bit mad!